Collaborative research barking up the right tree

Science and Innovation

Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith is welcoming the release of new research on canine nutrition which is set to boost New Zealand’s premium petfood exporters.

The New Zealand study explored how a high meat diet affects microbes in the guts of dogs. It found that a high meat diet is the optimum choice for the wellbeing of man’s best friend, as it is easier to digest and more nutrients are absorbed.

“This research is a significant contribution to the international canine nutrition field and it positions New Zealand scientists as leaders in this area. It’s also great news for our premium petfood export market, which is widely recognised as producing some of the best raw meat products in the world,” says Mr Goldsmith.

“Petfood is emerging as a real growth opportunity for the New Zealand economy. Globally, pet owners spent US$72 billion on petfood in 2012 and demand for quality ingredients and products have never been higher.”

The research is the first output of a 3-year collaborative research programme led by AgResearch and Massey University and co-funded by the New Zealand Premium Petfood Alliance (a consortium of Bombay Petfoods, ZiwiPeak and K9 Natural) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“While New Zealand’s disease-free status, fresh raw materials and free-range meats give us a strong competitive advantage in the global market, it is innovation that will drive further industry growth.”

“Building Innovation is a key part of the Government’s comprehensive Business Growth Agenda and our scientists are certainly on the right track with this collaborative research approach between scientists, industry and government to achieve tangible value for New Zealand’s petfood export market,” Mr Goldsmith says.

The research paper ‘Key bacterial families (Clostridiaceae, Erysipelotrichaceae and Bacteroidaceae) are related to the digestion of protein and energy in the dog’, has been published HERE.